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Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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Food Co-op

"The Davis Food Co-op occupies an important leadership role within the cooperative movement -- locally, nationally, and internationally." says Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects on Food Co-op.

By: Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects

Architecture-Page | Food Co-op by Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects
Stacked boxes, entry, and Co-op sign.

Words from the architect

This project expands and renovates one of the largest cooperative foodstores in the western United States. The Davis Food Co-op occupies an important leadership role within the cooperative movement - locally, nationally, and internationally. As such, when the co-op decided to expand, it began the process by asking every member to describe his or her dream-store. What should it look like? What features should it have? The results established a basic trajectory for the project, which was subsequently refined during two years of highly interactive design development. Ultimately, many of the features introduced through this process are ideas which would not have emerged from a more traditional 'top down' approach.

Architecture-Page | Food Co-op by Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects
Metal entry and wood dining terrace.

The project which emerged from this 'bottom up' design approach may best be understood in reference to two primary categories: language and symbol.

LANGUAGE. The membership chose (almost unanimously) to update the store's visual identity from the existing 1950s shed-roof supermarket. The resulting project completely surrounds and conceal the existing building with six distinct abstract forms.

SYMBOL. The Co-op is a highly symbolic project. Ten different symbolic tropes - both formal and programmatic - represent the store's leadership role within the cooperative movement.

Architecture-Page | Food Co-op by Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects
Flower mural and stacked boxes.

Material changes emphasize programmatic distinctions between the five abstract perimeter forms. From left to right:

  • (1) Flower Mural - paint on plaster. The sketched flowers evoke a crucial period of growth in the cooperative movement.
  • (2) Credit Union - metal siding. The readymade industrial siding references agricultural buildings.
  • (3) Stacked boxes - green stucco. Green is a color of the cooperative movement.
  • (4) Entry terrace - steel framework and metal decking. The metal canopy defines the entry and an outdoor farmer's market area.
  • (5) Dining terrace - wood framing and plywood. The wood canopy defines an outdoor dining terrace.
  • (6) Administration - multi-color stucco. An angled color change highlights the community conference room.

The new plan reorients the interior towards a corner entry, which faces the primary pedestrian and bike access routes. This emphasis on alternative forms of access (other than automobiles) emphasizes the environmental friendliness of the new store.

Architecture-Page | Food Co-op by Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects
Flower mural detail.

Credits

  • Text: OPA
  • Photographs: © Tim Griffith

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